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The New York Times says that offering changes in Social Security cost of living calculations was a mistake—one that shouldn't be repeated.

At the end of last year, just shy of the 11th hour in the fiscal cliff negotiations, President Obama made an offer that included a Republican-backed ...

But that is not the end of the story. As the next round of deficit reduction talks gets under way, the administration seems determined to include the COLA cut in any new package of spending reductions. Rather than using the issue as a bargaining ploy, the administration appears to have embraced it as a worthy end in itself.

Is it? In a word, no.

It's not that the NYT editorial board feels Social Security couldn't do with reforms, it's that this proposal is just particularly stupid.

Ross Douthat thinks he has President Obama's world policy neatly defined. Obama is just like Bush... except for the times Obama is completely unlike Bush.

Maureen Dowd is justifiably pissed.

President Obama ran promoting women’s issues.

But how about promoting some women?

...

We’re equal partners in life and governance now, and we merit equal representation, good traits and bad, warts and all.

It’s passing strange that Obama, carried to a second term by women, blacks and Latinos, chooses to give away the plummiest Cabinet and White House jobs to white dudes.

Frank Bruni may have a point about Harry Reid and the President overplaying their hands, but since Bruni grinds his text into near gibberish in a hunt for clever phrasing, it's hard to tell.

Helaine Olen sympathizes if you've been trying to cut back on nice-to-haves in an effort to put a little cash away for later, but there's a good reason why walking past Starbucks isn't doing much to bolster your 401k.

...deciding to take your lunch to work or to cancel your cable television won’t help nearly as much as you’d think. For all the attention we pay to overspending, we struggle with our personal finances not because we spend too much money on small luxuries but because salaries have stagnated at the same time as the costs of nonluxuries have gone up.

Even as the average household net worth plunged by almost 40 percent between 2007 and 2010, the cost of everything from health care to housing has risen for decades at rates well beyond that of inflation. Almost half of us are living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to save a penny. ...

We seem to want to believe we can budget-cut our way to financial success, maybe because we view monetary setbacks as shameful, nobody’s fault but our own. The personal finance establishment endorses our self-blaming tendencies. David Bach became famous promulgating the idea that by cutting out the daily Starbucks run, people could retire as millionaires. ... let me suggest another financial resolution, one that will do more for our future financial outlook than simply forgoing a few consumer goods: talk about money. It’s not shameful. Pick a cause, and resolve to fight for change.

Dana Milbank says Obama isn't selecting old, white men. He's selecting old, white YES men.
Republicans have uncovered a shocking level of wrongdoing in the Oval Office, and I’m afraid what they say is true: The president is brazenly trying to fill his Cabinet with . . . people he likes.

Alas, the perfidy doesn’t end there. Not only is Obama naming agreeable people to his Cabinet, he is also — audaciously, flagrantly — nominating people who . . . agree with his policies.

He also reminds us just how long it's been since a cabinet nominee was rejected by the Senate.
The last rejected Cabinet nominee, John Tower, was denied confirmation as defense secretary after accusations of alcohol abuse and womanizing.
That was in 1989, and Tower was one of only three nominees rejected in the 20th century. Basically, despite all the bluster, presidents can nominate who they please—which only makes the recent nominations more disappointing.

Leonard Pitts, along with pretty well everyone else, feels that the Journal News went too far.

Six years ago when white supremacists published my home address and phone number on their web sites, the first thing I felt was vulnerable.

The folks at the Journal News newspaper in New York state would doubtless say it was not their intention to do anything like that when they published online maps of gun ownership in their area. But intention and effect are two completely different things.

The maps show dots covering two suburban New York counties ...

But the paper did not stop there. Click on any one dot and up comes the name and home address of the gun owner in question.

Gun owners nationwide have been furious ever since the maps went up a few days before Christmas. They have a right to be.

No right is unlimited. This applies to the second amendment, but it also applies to the first.
The Journal News database seems an act of excess, the sort of thing that is done because it can be done, with little thought given to the consequences of the doing.

...

This is not about freedom of the press or freedom to own guns. It is, rather, about the freedom to be left alone, and whether that’s still sustainable or whether henceforth we must all live exposed.

Sara Reardon reports on the world's most badass mouse.
In the dark expanses of the Sonoran desert in the US, a terrifying creature stalks the night, searching for fresh meat. ...

Even the poisonous scorpion cannot escape the savage monster's little pink paws. It fights bravely, stinging its attacker on the nose. To no avail. The mouse ignores the painful venom and cruelly breaks the scorpion's tail by pummelling it into the ground, then bites its head and feasts on its flesh. Throwing its head back, the murderous animal howls at the moon.

That's right, people. A mouse that eats scorpions and howls out its rage at the world. You're gonna need a bigger sticky trap.

Apparently we solved that gun violence issue, since no one was talking about it today. Good for us.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:41 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My first thought (12+ / 0-)

    when I heard about this:

    That's right, people. A mouse that eats scorpions and howls out its rage at the world. You're gonna need a bigger sticky trap.
    was The Mouse that Roared...

    I know...

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:46:17 PM PST

    •  Great movie. I sampled it often... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe, OleHippieChick, melvynny, JML9999, cfk

      Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy: Men of Fenwick, where you hear the name of Grand Fenwick do your hearts swell with pride?

      Men of Fenwick: Yes!

      Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy: And if your country calls will you rush to enlist?

      Men of Fenwick: No!

      Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy: Oh.

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:12:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  resembles some departmental performance meetings (10+ / 0-)
    Even the poisonous scorpion cannot escape the savage monster's little pink paws. It fights bravely, stinging its attacker on the nose. To no avail. The mouse ignores the painful venom and cruelly breaks the scorpion's tail by pummelling it into the ground, then bites its head and feasts on its flesh. Throwing its head back, the murderous animal howls at the moon.

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ “If someone has a tool and is trying to negate your existence it would be reasonable to reciprocate in kind with your own tool.” - Dalai Lama XIV (sic)

    by annieli on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:47:37 PM PST

    •  Ms Reardon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      is quite the expressive writer!  

      Now, I'm more scared of the grasshopper mouse from AZ making it's way to NY than I am of Sheriff Joe!  

      She must have had or is having some vivid nightmares!

      •  like gerbils, that mouse must not reach Iowa City (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole

        - imagine its dissertation committee

        Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ “If someone has a tool and is trying to negate your existence it would be reasonable to reciprocate in kind with your own tool.” - Dalai Lama XIV (sic)

        by annieli on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:22:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where was MoDo when Rice was getting pummeled? (31+ / 0-)

    Oh yeah: She was joining in.

    New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd defied her own paper's reporting to hype false Republican attacks on Ambassador Susan Rice.
    http://mediamatters.org/...

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 10:35:02 PM PST

    •  Same as it ever was (7+ / 0-)

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:16:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Women Who Hate Women. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit

        Not as effective a title as "Men Who Hate Women." And MoDo ain't at all likely to hook up with one of the on-screen channelers of Lisbeth Salander, either.

        So sorry.

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:55:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not falling for her concern trolling (13+ / 0-)

      when she starts out with this crap:

      Janet Reno was trigger-happy on Waco, and a tragic conflagration ensued. Hillary Clinton’s my-way-or-the-highway obduracy doomed her heath care initiative; she also voted to authorize the Iraq invasion without even reading the National Intelligence Estimate, and badly mismanaged her 2008 campaign. Condi Rice avidly sold W.’s bogus war in Iraq. One of Susan Rice’s most memorable moments was when she flipped the finger at Richard Holbrooke during a State Department meeting.
      And then finishes up with this:
      Some women around Obama who say that he never empowers women to take charge of anything are privately gratified at the latest kerfuffle, hoping it will shut down the West Wing man cave.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:18:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly the comment I was about to make. (5+ / 0-)

      Apparently the whole Susan Rice thing never actually happened...

      "Today is who you are" - my wife

      by I Lurked For Years on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:47:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Truth be told any female on "the short list"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, annieli

      ...to be either SoS (as in the case of Susan Rice) or SoD (in the case of Michèle Flournoy) was going to be "faulted" for being a member of the "Humanitarian Intervention" school of thought. As if Secretary Clinton herself has no such impulse or leanings.

      Regarding Treasury, Shelia Bair or Lael Brainard were going to be "faulted" for being too familiar with the current power structure of International Finance.

      Flournoy and Brainard may yet get another bite of the apple later in this term, hopefully starting positions that continue under the next POTUS we elect.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:05:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dowd (5+ / 0-)

      She shines when she blasts the Catholic church's non response to pedophilia-- other than that, shines in her own mirror.  The Times has Brooks, Friedman, and Dowd who are their own best friends.

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:05:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, ignorant twits who fail to research (0+ / 0-)

        the personal ties that underlie politics.

        Obama, Biden, Kerry, and Hagel are close friends from serving in 2007 on the Foreign Relations Committee.

        Chuck Hagel also offered this:

        In the summer of 2008, while the two of them were on a trip to Afghanistan, then-Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, gave a bit of advice to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

        "I told Obama he should pick [Joe] Biden as his running mate," Hagel recalled in a 2010 interview. "I said, 'He understands governance better than anyone else. In particular, he understands Congress. He understands how it fits together like no one else you could get. He's got the political piece. He 's got the policy piece. There's nobody in his league.'"

        On August 25 of that year, Obama did indeed name Biden as his vice-presidential nominee. The move surprised many people. But apparently not Hagel.

        First term, Obama make a number of compromises to maintain peace with Business Republicans. SecDef picks fit that pattern.

        Now he gets what he wants.

        The twits ??? That's why dere's da twitter, right?

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:17:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Beat me to it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thomask, Bush Bites, Dr Squid, TomFromNJ

      Dowd can go justifiably fuck herself.

      "Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

      by RIposte on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:33:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like MoDo (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites
      Hidden by:
      bontemps2012

      She kickstarted her career on Clinton's penis, and it's all been downhill since then.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:52:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But but but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012, zapus

      she's "justifiably" pissed. So says the FPer. Therefore we should be too!

      Bullshit. Looks like we need a new FPer, if he can't keep his hatchet jobs out.

      •  The FPers are behind the curve (0+ / 0-)

        recognizing the split in the Republican Party.

        Obama is making nominations that would make perfect sense with a Nelson Rockefeller or a Dwight Eisenhower or a Lyndon Johnson in office.

        Listen to the screams when he nominates Kay Bailey Hutchison.

        Nobody looking at strategy. Nobody but Obama and Biden and the staffers. And Kerry and Hagel.

        The Bircher Republicans are commonly connected with Grover Norquist, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Michele Bachmann's "Tea Party Caucus." They oppose everything. They spew Bircher Madness 24/7/365 -- particularly the 150 of them in the House.

        Appointing Business Republicans, like doing deals through Mitch McConnell, sets up running an anti-Bircher coalition, breaking the log jam for 2013/2014.

        Our FPers are still short of figured out that the Far Right GOPers are Birchers. The FPers were born same years as the Birch Society was superseded, publicly, by the Heritage Foundation and other more sensible propaganda mills.

        Political crazy never dies.

        Not with $3-billion of Koch family money spent over the years to supply life support.

        Our FPers have several steps to climb before they will be able to appraise what Obama is doing.

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:17:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your Leonard Pitts link (0+ / 0-)

    comes back here.

    Six years ago when white supremacists published my home address and phone number on their web sites
    THAT'S what it was! His addy popped up among my stored stuff the other day and I was racking my brains trying to remember why I'd written to him.

    That's what it was about.

    At the time, I knew my way around the WN universe because I'd made a hobby out of fucking with Hal Turner.

    "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

    by kestrel9000 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:40:33 AM PST

  •  Douthat still defending GWB (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    Even though he obviously agrees that there were a lot of screw ups in Bush's foreign policies:

    The Obama way of statecraft has offered a plausible course correction after the debacles of the Bush era,
    But you described the column quite perfectly, Mark:
    Obama is just like Bush... except for the times Obama is completely unlike Bush.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:41:42 AM PST

    •  I sometimes wish (6+ / 0-)

      Obama was like Bush.

      Bush, for 8 years, managed to say "fuck you" to whatever his opposition wanted, whatever motives they questioned, whenever they tried to obstruct.

      He just did whatever the fuck he wanted anyway. "You don't like this appointment? We'll put him in while Congress is adjourned. You don't like this law? We'll ram it through by making you look bad for opposing it using euphemisms, dysphemisms, and propaganda"

      Remember when anyone who opposed the Iraq invasion was a "traitor"? Remember when the Estate Tax was widely referred to as the "Death Tax"? Remember when the allowable arsenic level in water was too low? "Clear Skies and Healthy Forests"?

      He got almost everything he wanted because "9-11" and "We're at war". (Except, thankfully, privatizing Social Security).

      Obama "compromises". Bush railroaded.

      We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

      by Patriot4peace on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:53:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. Rs go way overboard with the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, pelagicray, bontemps2012, PinHole

        "discipline" and lockstep, but we could well use a bit of their hive mind to actually unify behind things we want and make demands rather than waffle-y suggestions. We're starting to do it now with good results, but more constant pressure is always needed.
        Informed, strong and united is better than and would be more effective than their mindless lockstep, which IS infuriatingly effective.

        I ♥ President Obama. ~ Yes, we did. Again.
        NOW: Hands off SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid. NO Grand Bargain.
        Rich pay a bit more. DoD take a bit less. End war on Afghanistan sooner.

        by OleHippieChick on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:35:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You point out why there's a (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pelagicray, BachFan, bontemps2012

          difference between parties:

          but we could well use a bit of their hive mind to actually unify behind things we want and make demands rather than waffle-y suggestions.
          We're a much bigger tent than the GOP, hence there will never be a "hive mind".
          We can make demands and push for more Democratic solutions, but  we have to also deal with the reality of a Republican led House and a fairly conservative Democratic Senate (though thankfully, that is improving).

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:58:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A "bit" of hive mind is all that's needed. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PinHole

            It's a gray area, not stark B&W.
            If I put it as being "purposefully single minded" about passing lege that's very important to the party and base, well, we could use that kind of togetherness and passion, directed toward a specific democratic goal, not just to lip in unison a cheesy party line like... like... them!
            :-D

            I ♥ President Obama. ~ Yes, we did. Again.
            NOW: Hands off SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid. NO Grand Bargain.
            Rich pay a bit more. DoD take a bit less. End war on Afghanistan sooner.

            by OleHippieChick on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:39:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also Democrats don't have Birchers. (0+ / 0-)

            Crazy paranoia is not a major feature of Democratic politics. With the R's, you've got two distinct groups -- well defined in the House of Representatives by Obama's "Fiscal Cliff" negotiating strategy:

            -- Business Republicans (84 House seats in 2013)

            -- Bircher Republicans (150 House seats ihn 2013)

            The Birchers don't compromise. They are anti-government, anti-communist, anti-ACORN, anti-evolution, and anti-immigration. Since 1984 these Birchers have relied on financing from the same Koch family who financed the John Birch Society. They echo JBS slogans and a similar xenophobic paranoia for every major issue.

            "Business Democrats" -- how does that sound ???

            Democrats (201 seats) + some fraction of Business Republicans (84 times ???) = a new approach to politics.

            "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

            by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:36:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not to forget "signing statements" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patriot4peace, bontemps2012, skohayes

        This law you just passed, it does not mean what you think it's means"

        •  Bush43's ultimate in narcissistic fantasies. (0+ / 0-)

          No legal standing whatsoever, apart from the routine verbal disambiguations that had have been the uses for these letters.

          "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

          by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:44:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Out of gunsight, out of mind. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, bontemps2012
    Apparently we solved that gun violence issue, since no one was talking about it today. Good for us.
    Anyway, it's more fun to show a hoked up picture of the Oval Office with no apparent women and riff from that.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:57:07 AM PST

    •  Outing gun owners (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with outing gun owners--if you're ashamed you own a gun--don't.  If you're proud--talk to some Connecticut parents.  If you're for gun control, you should be demanding other newspapers jump on board the naming game.

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:09:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... not if that data wasn't public in the 1st (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bontemps2012, Laconic Lib

        place.

        But at least for NYC handgun licenses, the application says very plainly that if a license is granted, the name and address of the licenseholder is a public record.

        "Specialization is for insects." -- Heinlein

        by BachFan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:48:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that if outing or naming for ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... our good purposes is acceptable journalism, then we're setting a standard for others to out for their good purposes ... with no understanding of what a "good purpose" is. Locating abortion providers' homes, for example.

        Another concern is that some people who have guns may not be good at protecting themselves, their homes, their cars, etc. That's one of the main concerns of police officers I talk to - that a gun can pretty easily be taken away and used against the person carrying it or, like Mrs. Lanza, having them around the house.

        How sure are we that posting addresses where guns can be found is a good idea?

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:02:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  an important lesson about education (5+ / 0-)

    is contained in The Great Stuff In Public Schools That Tests Can't Measure, in which I point you at a blog post by Jersey Jazzman that shows important learning that cannot be measured by tests

    I hope you will read and pass on

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:02:58 AM PST

  •  Mickey's evil twin - Reason #10 the NRA says you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    need an assault rifle with a 30+ round magazine.

    Guess I better strap on the Kevlar the next time I explore that mouse hole in the front entry.

  •  People are really complaining that he didn't add a (11+ / 0-)

    Woman to his cabinet? 43% of Obama's nominations have been women. Diversity doesnt mean just pick people who look different for the sake of pleasing demographics.

    I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.

    by ReverseThePolarity on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:17:05 AM PST

  •  Gun control....where are the churches?....crickets (8+ / 0-)
  •  I Guess This Diarist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, Laconic Lib

    Prefers secret gunz.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:26:30 AM PST

  •  False charges against mouse (5+ / 0-)

    You can't accuse an animal of murder just because it's a carnivore getting something to eat.

  •  Why the fixation on cutting social security? (6+ / 0-)

    This really makes no sense.  Besides being a betrayal of campaign promises it's just plain unnecessary.  Then the Dems wonder why no one is sending them money ...
    why should I when they won't stand up for core values?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:46:25 AM PST

  •  Frank Bruni (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    is really in over his head. Mark Bittman would do a much better job.

    Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

    by al23 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:48:05 AM PST

  •  Obama is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes (0+ / 0-)

    to criticism, be it from the left, pundits or policy experts. So it's no surprise that he'd surround himself with a cabinet that's the opposite of Lincoln's "Team of Rivals" in his second term. He thinks he's figured out how things work and wants to lead a team of compliant lieutenants, not self-important contrarians. This is a pretty low ego cabinet that he's naming, compared to his first.

    E.g. no Summers, no Clinton, no Geithner. Their job will be to say "Yes boss, I'll make it happen"--and then, well, make it happen. That it lacks more women or minorities or people who will challenge him, like Sheila Bair (Treasury), Randi Weingarten (Labor) or Paul Krugman (Council of Economic Advisors), is a real shame. But Obama doesn't like dissent or discord, has an obsession with order and results (or at least the appearance of them), and this is the sort of people he wants. Rather than waste time criticizing something we appear to have no say in, like his cabinet picks, we should focus on what he does with them, i.e. policy. Starting with the coming rounds of budget/deficit/debt negotiations.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:54:20 AM PST

    •  Not being a wise guy (7+ / 0-)

      but I'm interested in seeing why you think PBO is thin skinned. Sometimes I think he is too thick skinned, especially considering the abuse heaped on him by right and by a few on our side, too.

      Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

      by al23 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:58:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everything I've read about him indicates (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        decisivemoment
        Hidden by:
        zizi

        that he can't stand and feels personally betrayed by criticism from the left, revealing a sense of superiority (that he's openly boasted about in the past) and entitlement mixed with peevishness and petulance. It's like he really does believe that he knows better than everyone else, and is above criticism. This is what happens when you live too much inside your head.

        One has to distinguish between the public Obama we see and hear and the actual Obama behind the scenes. Anyone who views him as transparent either has x-ray vision or is naive. He's a politician, they're all thin-skinned.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:20:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would NEVER want Weingarten in Labor (0+ / 0-)

      I’m a NYC teacher (hence the name) and she sold me out over and over again.  When she went national, she sold out more teachers.

      No thank you.

      •  If someone like Weingarten has sold out (0+ / 0-)

        then we're in for a very, very long struggle to get things back to where they used to be. It seems that the moment a liberal gets a shot at power and money, they go for it more often than not, and damn any principles. This is how the rich have taken over the country, by fooling the masses over guns, god and gays, and by buying out the professional elite, who instead of working to make this a better country, are working to make themselves richer.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:21:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe I'm wrong but... (6+ / 0-)

    Didn't Obama try to get a black woman to be Sec. of State (before the GOP harassed her enough until she dropped out) to replace his former Sec. Of State, who's also a woman?

    It’s passing strange that Obama, carried to a second term by women, blacks and Latinos, chooses to give away the plummiest Cabinet and White House jobs to white dudes.

    Follow me on Twitter! @guileofthegods

    by Guile Of The Gods on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:00:11 AM PST

  •  LOL.....Corker on Stephanopolous has a problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Subterranean, bontemps2012

    with Hagel's 'temperament'.....what a sleezebag.

  •  And Obama caves (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    zizi

    Obama caves to ole white male republicans. Obama folds like a cheap lawn chair and lets republicans bully him and steal his lunch. Look at Obama's history of surrendering to republicans and history tends to repeat itself over and over again with Obama.

    •  LOL. (0+ / 0-)

      He's got Republicans killing themselves and there's never been a "cave" that this guy can cite.

      "Surrendering to Republicans" is so far into bullshit it's funny.

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:59:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Both MoDo and Milbank worked to sink Rice. (9+ / 0-)
    Maureen Dowd is justifiably pissed.

    ...

    Dana Milbank says Obama isn't selecting old, white men. He's selecting old, white YES men.

    Sorry, but both are massive hypocrites in this.  Out of the cabinet nominations announced so far, only one position has become less diverse and that's Secretary of State.  The President's preference for that position was a nominee that would have added even more diversity to the position but both MoDo and Milbank tore into that nominee, publishing petty anonymous gossip and smears. Everyone was perfectly cognizant of the fact that Kerry was the alternative if they successfully chased Rice out of the running. They can both take their concern trolling and F right off, as can those on the left that also worked to sink her and are now grumbling about 'diversity'.
  •  Publishing gun licensee's data (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, bontemps2012, Laconic Lib

    Isn't that all public record?  Couldn't anyone FOIL the same data that the paper did?  I don't see the problem here.

  •  The mouse article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan

    Interesting note re the learned violence of those little critters:

    They appear to learn some of their aggression from their fathers: pups raised with two parents are more likely to bully other mice and attack insects more viciously than those raised by single mothers (Behavioral Biology, DOI: 10.1016/S0091-6773(77)91933-2)
    And we were told all the violence is a result of those single mothers raising kids alone.....
    •  Violence is from street gangs (0+ / 0-)

      "raising" the boys in single-parent families.

      I had an empty seat in one of my classes from a gang killing. Average kid, shot dead.

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:22:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Going up more than inflation? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Laconic Lib

    The cost of things people buy like health care, housing, fuel, etc. should not go up by more than the rate of inflation.  Inflation should reflect these things that people need to buy.  It doesn't fully.  This is why the CPI-E is so dreadful.  CPI already has been manipulated so that it is far lower than the actual cost of living increases that we face.  By manipulating it further it will make it nearly impossible to live for any extended period of time just on social security.  With pensions gone, SSI is what many people have, even though it was intended to be an augmentation to personal savings and a pension.

    Move CPI calculation the other direction - factor in these other costs.  That would be fairer even if we would suddenly be staring at 5% or higher inflation because we've lied to ourselves and said inflation is low.

    -Fred

    Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

    by FredFred on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:10:10 AM PST

  •  Is it caving -- or desire? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    You don't use rigged definitions of inflation as a starting point on Social Security unless you're actually in favor of them.

    Obama's brutal practicality has evidently led him to decide, for whatever reason, that Social Security should be partly liable for the rampant borrowing and spending of the last decade, because any benefit cuts reduce the extent to which Social Security has to be repaid for that borrowing.

    Guess what.  In the current political environment, Republicans WILL make Obama own this, and the Democrats too if they're stupid enough to join in, and they'll salvage what would have been a hopeless situation for them going forward.

    If politicians really want to help Social Security, they should be undertaking changes in economic policy that lead to pay boosts in the $25K-$50K range of jobs that have been so utterly hammered in recent years, as that will lead to boosts in payroll tax revenues.  The biggest single threat to Social Security -- a system predicated on the idea that the FICA cap stands at the 90th percentile of income and that middle class pay is healthy -- is the severe income inequality we now have.  The FICA cap is below the 85th percentile right now, AND pay in the lower to middle part of the payroll taxed range is particularly depressed.  Bump the cap to 150K, and boost taxes on dividends and on the wealthy; then you'll see corporations finding it less tax-efficient to overpay rockstar CEOs and more tax-efficient to reward labor.

  •  Did You Actually Read This Article? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    "Frank Bruni may have a point about Harry Reid and the President overplaying their hands, but since Bruni grinds his text into near gibberish in a hunt for clever phrasing, it's hard to tell."

    Did you actually read this article?  Right now as I type, I am a minute away from reading it, and I saw none of the stuff you claim that is in it.  I did not see one instance of what I'd call "grinding his text;" what I saw was a clear, coherent statement of misconduct by Obama, Reid, and the Democrats in general.  Maybe THAT is what is wrong; Frank Bruni did not grovel at the feet of the D's enough to please you.

    Make no mistake; Obama, Reid, and the Democrats have conducted themselves in ways that gain them the anger and frustration of those who have voted them into office.  Your own reference to Maureen Dowd's anger about the lack of women in Obama's second administration is a good example of that.  So instead of trashing someone who is not as enamored of Obama as you are, why not look at what they are saying and commenting on that instead?  Such action goes a long way towards gaining someone a measure of credibility.

  •  Don't feed the animals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    I think that it's important to consciously and systematically refrain from supporting right-wing memes by unthinkingly accepting their terms for the arguments between us.  We're conceding the battle even before it's begun when we do that.

    This post, in casually referencing the supposed conflict between supposed 2d Amendment rights to private gun ownership and the 1st Amendment, commits one of the most common such mistakes.

    Logically, the 2d has nothing whatever to do with any right of individual citizens to own and possess guns, or the terms and conditions under which the govt has to allow such possession.  It's about the collective right of citizens to form militias.  Even if you read into it some necessity for the members of such militias to keep weaponry in their personal possession, the terms of that possession and use are explicitly said to require govt regulation.  Such regulation isn't optional, it is required.

    And that's not just my logic.  Until very recently, until the recent wingnut justice infusion into SCOTUS, US juriisprudence was with me on deriving whatever right there is is in this country to private gun ownership to the common law, and not to the 2d.  Any trace of such rights to the 2d is still controversial.  

    We shouldn't let the other side get away with speaking about this very controversial point as if it were a settled consensus, in the law or in common sense.  And we certainly shouldn't talk that way ourselves.  Let's not help them make it a consensus in public opinion that private gun ownership is any sort of constitutionally guaranteed right.  

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:32:39 AM PST

  •  Nice hatchet job (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, zizi, bontemps2012, vespers, zapus

    Looks like the editorial line is back to Obamasux.

    Maureen Dowd, 17 November 2012:

    Is Rice Cooked?

    OUR Rice is better than your Rice.
    That’s the argument Democrats are
     aggressively making against Republicans.

    And it’s true. Condi Rice sold her soul. Susan Rice merely rented hers on the talk shows one Sunday in September.

    Maureen Dowd now:
    President Obama ran promoting women’s issues.

    But how about promoting some women?

    Come on, it was well-known that Dowd had a hand in running off Susan Rice, and now she's justifiably pissed? She can piss off. And you should be ashamed for this editorial line, based on something you know to be false.

    Just like the Professional Left. Couldn't be arsed to defend Rice in real time, but they can sure use her absence to bash President Obama later.

    Useless.

  •  Helaine Olen and David Bach: both right (0+ / 0-)

    It's undeniable that wages and benefits are being systematically ratcheted down in this country and that fewer and fewer people are able to earn enough to cover their essential living expenses, no matter how thrifty they are. But there's a lot to be said for being able to handle your assets intelligently and successfully navigate all the money-draining traps that consumerist culture puts in people's ways. Also, if you can accept the fact deep in your heart that, no matter what the cultural memes tell you, you're never going to win the lottery or get your own reality show or marry a billionaire,  you'll already have an edge over 99.9 per cent of your fellow Americans in terms of making better decisions about what you're doing right now.

  •  Good for you, Mark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012
    No right is unlimited. This applies to the second amendment, but it also applies to the first.
    Sometimes it really does make sense to ask why you are doing something.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:23:47 AM PST

    •  Crowded theater = world with both (0+ / 0-)

      paranoid schizophrenics and suicide-phase individuals in Depression.

      We need to separate guns from our 50,000 paranoid schizophrenics, if we are going to prevent mass killings of strangers.

      Dissuading suicide can also be worked on -- cutting gun suicides by a half.

      D'oh.

      Australia did it in 1996 and unless we are fundamentally dumber than the Aussies, we can do it.

      D'oh-d'oh.

      Unless we have the maturity of three-year olds.

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:31:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No argument there, but I think the context (0+ / 0-)

        was the web site providing a map with the name and address of all the people licensed to carry concealed weapons.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:11:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reform Social Security (0+ / 0-)

    We can reform Social Security easily enough by raising wages and encouraging more employment. Remember that any shortfall in Social Security is caused by a shortfall in wages paid to workers because that's what funds the program.

    So, I have a couple, common-sense proposals for strengthening our retirement programs:

    (1) Add a tariff to recover the unpaided payroll taxes for products produced overseas and sold here.
    (2) Increase the employer contribution to 10%, to cover the increased worker productivity they've pocketed over the last three decades.
    (3) Fix the trade policy so that we are not leaking jobs all the time.
    Right now, unemployment in the U.S. is 0.9% higher than it was before we started shipping jobs overseas. Our trade policies are directly responsible for millions of people being out of work. Every one of those people would be paying into the Social Security system if they had a job.

    Rather than cutting benefits we should be funding Social Security properly. The way to do that is to focus on increasing employment rates and wages.

  •  I don't see why Dowd is pissed (0+ / 0-)

    Jay Carney assured us that the President choses the absolutely best person for the job.

  •  Maureen Dowd is a hypocrite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vespers

    Marueen Dowd in 2012 helping to torpedo Susan Rice @ Sec of State by using GOP talking points about her appearance on Sunday shows following Bhangahzi: Maureen Dowd == Hypocrite
    Now she wonders where the women are for top posts in the Administration, eh?

    Classic armchair punditry.

  •  The ageism thing again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vespers

    "Obama isn't selecting old, white men. He's selecting old, white YES men. "

    Please stop identifying your enemy as being old and white.  As I recall Noam Chomsky is an old white man.  Many of you will be old white men tomorrow.  The problem isn't being white, or being old.  The problem is believing and doing the wrong thing, which is an equal-opportunity problem.  

  •  The Personal Finance Establishment... (0+ / 0-)
    "The personal finance establishment endorses our self-blaming tendencies."
    Irony of irony: I was reading this while "Marketplace Money" was coming through on the radio.  That's the show where you routinely hear such wonderful words of advice as,
    'Starving to death?  In debtor's prison or homeless? You too should really really start thinking about packing away an extra percentage or two of your earnings into your 401k account!  Remember, the poorer you are, the more you'll need it in your old age!"
  •  Team of Rivals? (0+ / 0-)

    Not quite Mr President.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 02:12:52 PM PST

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